Primary Course Texts

Shape: Talking about Seeing and Doing

Most of the readings in the course can be found in the following book:

Buy at MIT Press Buy at Amazon Stiny, George. 2006. Shape: Talking about Seeing and Doing. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press. ISBN: 9780262693677.

The full text of Professor Stiny's book can also be accessed for free online: This resource may not render correctly in a screen reader.Shape: Talking about Seeing and Doing (PDF - 1.8 MB).

Calculating: Beyond Fancy in Imagination’s Magical Realm

In the following pieces, which will appear in a forthcoming book, Professor Stiny provides answers to seven questions he is frequently asked about shape grammars:

Preface (PDF)

Q1. What is a shape grammar? (PDF)

Q2. How far can shape grammars go in describing forms? (PDF)

Q3. What inspired your seminal research into shape grammars in the early 70’s? (PDF - 2.4 MB)

Q4. How has research into shape grammars evolved since then? (PDF)

Q5. What is the future of shape grammars? (PDF)

Q6. Do you know of any examples of where shape grammars have been practically used in architecture and design? (PDF)

Q7. What is the typical reaction of designers to the idea that their forms can be broken into grammars? (PDF)

Coda (PDF)

Exhibit 2 (PDF - 1.1 MB)